San Francisco is often called Everybody's Favorite City, a title earned by its scenic beauty, cultural attractions, diverse communities and world-class cuisine. Measuring 47 square miles, this very walk-able city is dotted with landmarks such as the Golden Gate Bridge, cable cars, Alcatraz and one of the largest Chinatowns in the United States. A stroll of the City's streets can lead from Union Square to North Beach to Fisherman's Wharf, with intriguing neighborhoods to explore at every turn. Views of the Pacific Ocean and San Francisco Bay are often laced with fog, creating a romantic mood in this most European of American cities.
San Francisco's history is a mixture of Spanish colonialism and rowdy American romanticism. The first European settlement, on the site of the present city, was established in 1776 by a Spanish officer, Colonel Juan Bautista de Anza, who founded the Presidio on the southern shore of the Golden Gate. By 1835 the little garrison had grown into a village. It kept the name Yerba Buena until 1847 when it was officially named San Francisco.
The Yankees came en masse following the discovery of gold at Sutter's sawmill, 140 miles east of San Francisco, in 1848. During 1849, 40,000 people arrived, most of them in search of quick riches. Today there are some 7.1 million people in the San Francisco Bay Area. The hub of a nine-county complex and one of the financial and biotech capitals of the West, The City has a resident population of about 791, 700.
Tourism is the city’s number 1 industry and employs approximately 61,300 individuals. Visitor spending represents $6.73 billion per year, or roughly $18.4 million a day.
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